Happy Maid of Murder month! Whoever thought this time would come? My debut mystery novel, Maid of Murder, which has received wonderful reviews, will be released on June 16th. I have been working toward this moment since I was eleven years old. I started writing my first novel when I was thirteen. I still have it. It’s buried in a drawer in my desk at home and is the only existing copy because it is written in pencil in a large looping middle schooler handwriting where the i’s are dotted with circles.
In some ways, not much has changed since then. I’m still writing, and I’m still asking questions. When I was a child, I would ask questions about heaven. “Will we eat in heaven? Will I get to live with you in heaven? How old will I be?” I asked. I was told, “You will be happy. You will have everything you need.”
As an adult, only one question remains, “Are books allowed in heaven?” And if not, can an exception can be made for one book, my book, so that my father could hold it? That’s all I want—to see the novel in his hands for a minute, a second and to see the look on his face as he holds it.
Some may think this is a silly question and that my theology is questionable at best. Maybe they are right, but I like to think a silly question is allowed now and again. Because no matter what your theology is, a life in faith is not a life without doubt and silly questions. A life in faith is a life with doubt and silly questions and choosing to believe in spite of them. Puddleglum in C.S. Lewis’s Silver Chair taught me that when he confronted the Green Lady. The marsh-wiggle declared, “Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all of those things—trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones…I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia” (Lewis 159).
Although I suspect the answer to my question about books in heaven is “no,” I don’t regret asking or asking the questions to come. Nor do I regret believing, no matter what the answers to my questions may be.
Lewis, C.S. The Silver Chair. New York: Scholastic, 1953. Print.